Students’ Knowledge About Psychology Misconceptions tests or misconceived tests? Richard A.Griggs and Sarah E.Ransdell 34
Since Vaughan’s (1977) study on misconceptions about psychology among introductory psychology students using her Test of Common Beliefs (TCB), numerous articles on this topic have appeared, especially in this journal. There were earlier relevant papers (e.g., McKeachie, 1960), but Vaughan’s article seems to have had a greater impact. Later articles have dealt with several topics, including the relationship between the amount of misconception and subsequent performance in the introductory psychology course (Gutman, 1979), the amount of misconception as related to the number of accumulated college credits (Gardner & Dalsing, 1986), criticism of specific TCB items (Brown, 1984; Ruble, 1986), and faculty evaluations of items on the TCB (Gardner & Hund, 1983). Our article touches on all of these topics but focuses mainly on: (a) the effect of having taken a high school psychology course on the performance of college students on a misconceptions test and (b) a critical assessment of the test items that have been labeled misconceptions.